Natural Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composite (NFRPC) from Waste Polypropylene Filled with Coconut Flour
Keywords:Coconut flour; Mechanical properties; Biodegradation; Waste polypropylene
Abstract:-The authors prepared a biodegradable composite using waste polypropylene (wPP) and coconut flour (CF). Each polymer composite was prepared with different ratios of CF introduced in the matrix. The composite prepared contained 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% CF respectively. 100% wPP was the control sample. The composite showed an increase in tensile strength and modulus, flexural strength and modulus, water absorption and impact strength with increase in CF. However there was a slight reduction in density of the NFRPCs with increase in CF due to poor dispersion of the fibres and void spaces in the matrix of the composites. The biodegradation rates of the NFRPCs were higher than that of wPP, with the highest biodegradation rate of 2.93% at 50% CF content after six months. The CF in the composites helped to increase the biodegradation rate as a result of its hydrophilic nature which permits the ingress of water into the matrix of the NFRPCs which aided degradation by action of micro-organism, photo-thermal and oxidative degradation. NFRPCs produced can be utilised for industrial and domestic applications and can also undergo biodegradation when disposed, indicating a more environmental friendly substitute compared to wPP. However to increase the rate of biodegradation additives such as transition metals may be incorporated into the matrix structure to increase biodegradation at a scale that would be much faster and economically more viable.
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